displayed the evening before, emerged from the timber on the north west of our position, advanced along the south side of the railroad to within 1,000 yards of the stockade, and there took his first position.
In the mean time the forces of my command were disposed as follows: Lieutenant Beers, with one-fourth of the command, occupied the rifle-pits on the northwest side of the stockade; sentinels were placed without the stockade at divers points, commanding views of all surroundings not visible from the stockade itself. The balance of my force, under Captain Allen, were distributed within the stockade, so as to detect the advance of the enemy from any and all quarters he might see proper to attack us.
The enemy bombarded us for some time from his position first taken, as above stated; the changed his position to a point some 200 yards south of his first, threw a number of shells, and changed position again to a point still farther south of his last one, and at the distance of 700 yards from the stockade. He also, at the same time, dismounted a portion of his forces and deployed in the corn-field, situated between the meadow in which he first planted his artillery and the stockade, and sent another portion of his forces to the north side of the railroad, and down the wagon-road leading to the ford at the railroad bridge, with the evident design of occupying if possible the north bank of the railroad, near the ford.
To prevent the accomplishment of this object by the enemy, Lieutenant Simmons was sent, with a few men, to the threatened point, but on reaching it found the enemy in hasty retreat, from the fire of the single sentinel who had been placed there prior to the commencement of the action.
In the mean time the enemy, having thrown a number of shells from his third position, was proceeding to take a fourth, still nearer to us. His forces, deployed in the corn-field, had advanced to within 600 yards of the stockade, and opened upon us with small-arms.
At this juncture we commenced a rapid fire upon the enemy with all our disposable force. The damaging effects of our fire were immediately apparent. The cannoneers abandoned their cannon, and only returned to remove it out of our range. The forces in the corn-field receded from their advanced position. In a few minutes the rout became general, and the enemy, moving at a rapid pace and in a disorderly mass, disappeared from view in the timber from which he had emerged prior to the attack.
The enemy received some punishment, but to what extent we do not certainly know, as he carried his killed and wounded from the field with him. From information obtained since the affair, we have reason to believe he lost 3 killed and 10 or 12 wounded. My command received no damage whatever. The stockade remains uninjured. The affair lasted one hour and a half.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of my officers and men during the attack. Though not one of them had ever been under fire before, they behaved like veterans.
In concluding this report, I should do injustice to my own feelings should I omit to acknowledge the very great obligations I am under to Captain Allen, Lieutenants Beers and Simmons, and my adjutant, Lieutenant Green, for their efficient support prior to and during the affair.
WILLIAM H. BENNESON,
GEORGE K. SPEED,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Louisville, Ky.